Saturday, May 7, 2016

Sola Scriptura XII: DF 3, Chapter 4: New Capabilities

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 3: The Next Level
Chapter 4: New Capabilities

After crawling through DF2 and DF16 (and a few others) for skills, I'm back to this again for new stuff. Well, it was new back in 2008, and if your character doesn't have the traits, they're new to him/her/it (seriously on it; playing a robot is totally in-genre; see page 22 of Men and Magic, and the Warforged of Eberron). So a short note on a short chapter.

Mortal Foe is basically a new version of Higher Purpose for highly skilled fighters. It's the Favored Enemy of D&D 3e Rangers. Truth be told, while it's limited to fighting men with high (20+) combat skills, I don't think that wizards who know Fireball-20 taking this would break anything.

Next up, Psionics. There's a whole book dedicated to this, which puts this as part of a template. Psionics are cheap to cast—1 FP—but might bring unwanted (they're all unwanted) Elder Things when you use them. DF14 has some of the Elder Things, which makes the book more useful for GMs whose players aren't making psionic characters.

I'll make an aside, but while "cheesy psi powers are a hack-and-slash tradition," actually using them goes against that tradition. Eldritch Wizardry? That was a system bungled in the communication between Steven Marsh (the other one, not the Pyramid editor) and Gary Gygax. AD&D? I made dishonest rolls on those to have characters with ├╝ber-cool psi powers, but never once played them since nobody would believe that I rolled those honestly, which was true. AD&D Second Edition? There were two versions of psionics, and I owned both, and never used either. Nobody I knew used them. Even D&D 3.0 and D&D 3.5 had fairly different psionic systems, and one of those (I think the 3.0 one) was the only time I've seen a psionic character at the table. The player got bored of it, in part because it wasn't a mighty character. I don't pretend to care about whatever psionic system there was in D&D 4; I gave up caring about that edition's magic system. Anyways, my long-winded babble's point is that having the psionic system gather dust on your shelf, real or virtual, is a hack-and-slash tradition. While I don't mind the system listed in this book (it's basically another GURPS Powers-type system), I don't need it.

Spell-Archery is the one new spell, and it's for Wizard-Scouts who have bought their Bow skill up to 20, so they're 320-point characters before they dump a point into this spell. (It's a little pricier for Scout-Wizards, who have fewer spells to dump into the arrow.) Cast a spell onto an arrow, shoot the arrow, have the spell affect the target. I've seen that before. Alright, not in play, because the Arcane Archers I saw in play ignored this ability, likely because it's limited. (And they only took a level of Wizard, only to qualify for the prestige class.)

I'd like more spells, or more uses for existing spells. A good way to add more spells would be to look through the tasks for skills, and write spells to handle some of them. Not solve them utterly, but make it easier, with some magical flair to boot.

Two-Weapon Fighting is the cheaper two-weapon fighting in GURPS Martial Arts, put in Dungeon Fantasy. It corrects a bad pricing of the Basic Set.

And now, the sidebar: Unholy Might. This is Holy Might from Adventurers, with bad stuff in place of good stuff. Looking at it, I'd throw the Dread Touch (and my dark sense of humor wants to call it Bad Touch) on an Evil Cleric, and make it leveled, just to be a bastard.

1 comment:

  1. Heh. We had a three-person campaign in junior high school and two of the three players rolled up psionics. Honestly rolled. They rarely used them except occasionally to dual-mind blast masses of monsters they really didn't want to fight. Otherwise they ignored them. One was a fighter (a samurai), the other was the thief. The monk didn't get them, but like I said, no one cared. It wasn't a great system in actual play.

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